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the most interesting objects in Europe arrangement. His travels are put
and Asia-Greece and the Himalaya together without any proper method ;
range--by these two distinguished there is a great want of indexes and
British travellers, with the pictures tables of contents; it is scarcely possi-
given by Humboldt of the Andes, the ble, except by looking over the whole,
falls of the Orinoco, the forests of the to find any passage you want. This
same river, and the expanse of the is a fault which, in a person of his
Pampas in South America, every one accurate and scientific mind, is very
must admit the great superiority of surprising, and the more inexcusable
the German's powers of painting that it could so easily be remedied by
Nature. Neither Clarke nor Heber mechanical industry, or the aid of
appear to attempt it. They tell you, compilers and index-makers. But
indeed, that certain scenes were grand akin to this, is another fault of a more
and beautiful, certain rocks wild, irremediable kind, as it originates in
certain glens steep; but they make the varied excellences of the author,
no attempt to portray their features, and the vast store of information on
or convey to the reader's mind the many different subjects which he
pictures which they tell you are for brings to bear on the subject of his
ever engraven on their own. This is travels. He has so many topics of
a very great defect, so great indeed which he is master himself, that he
that it will probably prevent their forgets with how few, comparatively,
works, how valuable soever as books his readers are familiar; he sees se
of authority or reference, from ever many objects of enquiry-physical,
acquiring lasting fame. It is a total moral, and political-in the countries
mistake to say that it is in vain to which he visits, that he becomes in-
attempt describing such scenes; that sensible to the fact, that though each
is the same mistake as was formerly probably possesses a certain degree of
committed by pacific academical his interest to each reader, yet it is scarce-
torians, who said it was useless to ly possible to find one to whom, as to
attempt painting a battle, for they himseif, they are all alike the object
were all like each other. How like of eager solicitude and anxious inves-
they really are to each other, has been tigation. Hence, notwithstanding his
shown by Colonel Napier and many attempt to detach his personal narra-
other modern historians. We question tive from the learned works which
if even the sight of the rapids of the contain the result of his scientific re-
Oripoco would make so vivid an im- searches, he has by no means suc-
pression on the imagination, as Hum- ceeded in effecting their separation.
boldt's inimitable description ; or a The ordinary reader, who has been
journey over the Pampas or the Andes, fascinated by his glowing description
convey a clearer or more distinct idea of tropical scenery, or his graphic pic-
of their opposite features than what has ture of savage manners, is, a few pages
been derived from his brilliant pencil, on, chilled by disquisitions on the
It is the same with all the other scenes height of the barometer, the disk of
in nature. Description, if done by a the sun, or the electricity of the at-
masterly hand, can, to an intelligent mosphere ; while the scientific student,
mind, convey as vivid an idea as who turns to his works for informa-
reality. What is wanting is the en- tion on his favourite objects of study,
thusiasm which warms at the percep- deems them strangely interspersed
tion of the sublime and the beautiful, with rhapsodies on glowing sunsets,
the poetic mind which seizes as by silent forests, and sounding cataracts.
inspiration its characteristic features, It is scarcely possible to find a rea-
and the pictorial eye which discerns der to whom all these objects are
the appearances they exhibit, and by equally interesting; and therefore it
referring to images known to all, is scarcely to be expected that his
succeeds in causing them to be gene- travels, unrivalled as their genius and
rally felt by the readers.

learning are, will ever be the object
With all Humboldt's great and tran- of general popularity.
scendent merits, he is a child of Adam, In truth, here, as in all the other
and therefore not without his faults. branches of human thought, it will be
The principal of these is the want of found that the rules of composition

are the same, and that a certain unity provided only it really occurred. of design is essential to general suc- Scenes and adventures, broken wheels cess or durable fame. If an author and rugged rocks, cataracts and omehas many different and opposite sub- lets, lakes and damp beds, thunderjects of interest in his head, which is storms and waiters, are huddled tonot unfrequently the case with per- gether, without any other thread of sons of the higher order of intellect; and connexion than the accidental and he can discant on all with equal facili- fortuitous one of their having succesty, or investigate all with equal eager- sively come under the notice of the ness, he will do well to recollect that traveller. What should we say to the minds of his readers are not any other work composed on the likely to be equally discursive, and that same principle ? What if Milton, he is apt to destroy the influence, after the speech of Satan in Paradise or mar the effect of each, if he blends Lost, were to treat us to an account them together ; separation of works is of his last dinner; or Shakspeare, the one thing needful there. A ma- after the scene of the bones in Juliet, thematical proposition, a passage of were to tell us of the damp sheets in poetry, a page of history, are all ad- which he slept last night; or Gibbon, mirable things in their way, and each after working up the enthusiasm of may be part of a work destined to his readers by the account of the durable celebrity; but what should storming of Constantinople by the we say to a composition which should Crusaders, was to favour us with a present us, page about, with a theorem digression on the insolence of the of Euclid, a scene from Shakspeare, postilions in Roumelia ? All the and a section from Gibbon? Unity world would see the folly of this : and of effect, identity of train of thought, yet this is precisely what is constantsimilarity of ideas, are as necessary in ly done by travellers, and tolerated a book of travels as in an epic poem, a by the public, because it is founded on tragedy, or a painting. There is no nature. Founded on nature ! Is such thing as one set of rules for the every thing that is actually true, or fine arts, and another for works of real, fit to be recorded, or worthy of thought or reflection. The Iliad is beingrecounted? Sketches from nature constructed on the same principles as are admirable things, and are the only the Principia of Newton, or the his foundation for correct and lasting tory of Thucydides.

pictures ; but no man would think of What makes ordinary books of interposing a gallery of paintings with travels so uninteresting, and, in gene- chalk drawings or studies of trees. ral, so shortlived, is the want of any Correctness, fidelity, truth, are the idea of composition, or unity of effect, only secure bases of eminence in all in the minds of their authors. Men the arts of imitation ; but the light of and women seem to think that there genius, the skilful arrangement, the is nothing more to do to make a book principles of composition, the selection of travels, than to give a transcript of of topics, are as necessary in the writer their journals, in which every thing is of travels, as in the landscape painter, put down of whatever importance, the historian, or the epic poet.

Hahem the Slave.

560

HAKEM THE SLAVE.

A TALE EXTRACTED FROM THE HISTORY OF POLAND.

CHAPTER I.

com

ALBERT GLINSKI, the powerful, os- to the palace. The duke, assuming a tentatious, and intriguing Duke of frank and cordial manner, called to Lithuania, was passing, distinguished him. Laski paused. “ What would by his glancing plume and gorgeous the Duke of Lithuania ? " he asked in mantle, through one of the more re- his usual calm and reserved manner. tired streets of the city of Cracow, at “Peace!" replied the duke—"amithis time (A.D. 1530) the capital of cable terms. Political opponents is Poland, when a domestic wearing the seems we are destined to be. The livery of the palace deferentially ac- world gives us out as the selected costed him.

champions of two hostile factions. You “Her Majesty," he said,

affect the commons, I side with the mands me to deliver these tablets into nobility. Be it so. But there exists your hands; you dropped them in between us, I hope, a mutual respect; the palace.”

and it would be my greatest boast if, “I dropped no tablets,” replied the in spite of this political antagonism, I duke ; but instantly added, “ Yes, might reckon Count Laski amongst they are mine-Give them me." my personal friends."

He took from the hands of the do- A derisive smile played upon the mestic certain tablets of ivory, which countenance of the chancellor as he folded into a case of gold exquisitely replied—“ Such friendship, my lord, wrought by one of the most skilful art- as is consistent with perpetual strife ists of Italy, and dismissed the bearer open and concealed-shall, if it with a liberal gratuity for his services. please you, subsist between us. Par.

“Ha! my excellent Bona! youth- don me, but we prate a silly jargon ful bride of our too aged monarch when we talk of private friendship and Sigismund !” said the duke to himself public hostility.” when he was left alone.

“ Each day

At all events,” rejoined the duke, some new device. What have we in “political rivalry does not exclude the these tablets? Here, in the corner practice of the courtesies of life. It of cach leaf, I see a solitary figure has been reported to me that you adfinely pencilled in, which to any other mire the marble statue of a nymph eye than mine would mean nothing, which an Italian sculptor has lately but which tells me that at eight wrought for me. I, on my part, have o'clock this evening you will receive envied you the possession of a certain your favoured duke. So, so! But, Arab slave, a living statue, a moving charming Bona! it is not love-love- bronze, that you have amongst your able as you are—it is not love-it is retainers. Let us, like Homeric heambition gives its zest, and must roes, make an exchange. Give me bring the recompense to this perilous your statue-man, your swart Apollo, intrigue. The Duke of Lithuania is and accept from me what many have no hot-brained youth to be entangled been pleased to call the living statue." and destroyed by a woman's smiles. Glinski had a secret motive for the To have a month's happiness, as men acquisition of this slave: his known phrase it, and then the midnight dag- fidelity, his surprising address and ger of a jealous monarch–I seek no

power, had protected the life of the such adventures. It is the crown of minister against more than one scheme Poland-yes, the crown-that you of assassination. must help me to, fair lady."

“The exchange," replied Laski, As he stood reflecting on his ambi- “is too much in my favour. Your tious schemes, his rival in the state, Italian marble would purchase a hunCount Laski, minister and chancellor dred slaves. It would be a present of the king, passed by him on his way in disguise ; and you know my ruleeven from his Majesty himself I never case flew back, and disclosed a minireceive."

ature of the queen! " Yes, we know your tyrannous “I have been indiscreet," said the munificence; but this," said the duke count, and immediately folded up and with a smile, “shall be pure barter." returned the tablets. “This is peril

“What say you, then," said the ous ware to deal in, Duke of Lithucount, “ to those golden tablets which ania. Have you aught else in the you hold in your hand? Give me way of honest barter to propose ?” leave to look at them. They might “What you may infer,” said the suit my pedantic way of life. But,” duke, reddening with anger, and grievadded he, as he examined their deli- ously embarrassed at his discoverycate workmanship, "came you honest- “What you may infer from this silly ly by this toy, my lord? What fair bauble I shall not be at the pains to frailty have you cheated of this knack, enquire. I addressed you, my lord, that never, I will be sworn, was a in courteous and amicable terms; you man's marketing?"

have ill responded to them; our con“I am glad to hear so grave a gen- versation had better close here." tleman indulge so pleasant a view,” “As you will," said the chancellor, said the duke.

bowing; and he continued his way toAs Count Laski was handling the wards the palace, with the same delitables, he touched, whether by acci- berate step with which he was prodent or design, a spring that had not ceeding when accosted by the duke. been observed by him to whom the “ He is master of our secret," mutpresent had been sent. The outer tered the duke. “He or I”

CHAPTER II.

• In an apartment of the palace fitted entered. If any observer could have up with every luxury her native Italy watched the duke as he traversed the could supply, sat Bona, the young and corridor which led to the queen's beautiful queen of Poland. She is apartment, he would have had great known to have transplanted into that difficulty in believing that it was a northern clime, not only the arts and favoured lover that was passing before civilization of her own genial soil, but him; so serious a brow did he wear, also the intrigue and voluptuousness, and so deep an air of abstraction was and the still darker crimes for which there on his countenance. No sooner, it was celebrated. Daughter of the however, did he enter that apartment, crafty Sforza, Duke of Milan, educat- than, by a sudden effort, his counteed in a city and at a court where plea- nance lit up; his manner grew free sure reigned predominant, married and unrestrained, and he assumed that out of policy to a monarch many years mingled tone of gaiety and pathos so older than her own father, it was al. effective with the fair sex. Never had most to be expected that she should the queen felt more entirely conseek, in the society of some gay cava- vinced of the merits of her cavalier; lier, a compensation for this banishe never had she more thoroughly apment to a northern country, and a proved of the choice she had made. sexagenarian spouse. Nor had she When this favourable disposition hesitated long in her choice. Albert was at its height, the duke, adopting Glinski, Duke of Lithuania, who, gradually a more serious tone of conthough he was the father of a son ripen- versation, saiding into manhood, was still in the vigour " Has it never occurred to you, of life, and surpassed all his younger charming Bona, that the most exalted rivals in grace of manner and charm of your sex share with the humblest of conversation, had soon fixed her this one privilege-love alone must regard, and won whatever of affection be the motive which brings a suitor or love the luxurious princess had to to their feet. That passion must be bestow.

genuine, must be fever-high, which She now sat waiting his arrival. makes a subject quite forget his Queen Punctually at the hour of eight he in the lovely woman before him, and

1

tempts him to dare the vengeance of Poland, or see my blood flow ignoa Monarch, as well as of a husband." miniously upon the scaffold."

" True, there is danger-perhaps to "I extend my hand ! " exclaimed both of us," she replied, “but it daunts the agitated queen, “ how can a feeble us not."

woman give or take away the crown “No;-but it is at hand."

of Poland ? " “What mean you, Glinski?"

“Him who wears the crown-she " We are betrayed."

can take away." “How ?-by whom?"

“Murder the king!" shrieked Bona. How, or by whom, it matters lit

"Or sentence me," replied theduke. tle; but that subtle demon, Count It was no affected horror that the Laski, knows that which in his hands queen here displayed. Though at a is a warrant for our destruction." subsequent period of her life, if history

* What is to be done? We will speaks true, her imagination had bribe him. All my jewels, all my grown familiar with deeds of this very hoards shall go to purchase his silence.” nature, and she had become skilful in

* Bribe Laski! bribe the north the art of poisoning, she was at this wind ! bribe destiny itself, whose na- time young, and unpractised in crime, ture it is to distribute good and ill; and received its first suggestions with but to feel neither. No, but I would the horror which it naturally inspires. have a dagger in his throat before the She had sought for pleasure only in night were passed, but that his short the society of Glinski ; it was a cruel light slumbers are guarded by a slave disappointment, it was a frightful surof singular power, whom the villains prise, to find herself thrust suddenly, fear to attack. I had meant to beg or with unsandaled feet, on the thorny buy of him this same fierce automaton, path of ambition. She sank back on but something broke off the treaty.' the couch where they had both been

“ We will poison the mind of the sitting, and, hiding her face in both king against him : he shall be dis. her hands, remained in that position missed from all his offices."

while the duke continued to unfold his “ That poison is too slow. Besides, schemes at greater length. if he once communicate his suspicions He represented to her that the posto the king—which at this very mo- session of the duchy of Lithuania, ment he may be doing-see you not, the inhabitants of which were distins that it is no longer the minister, but guished by their bravery and their the jealous monarch that we have to turbulence, would enable him-should guard against. Hear me, Bona, one the king opportunely die—to seize of two fates must now be mine. Death upon the vacant throne of Poland ;-or thy hand, and with it the crown that he had numerous and powerful of Poland. Do not start. There is for friends among the nobility ;-that he me no middle station. You may be had already drawn together his Lithusafe. A few tears, a few smiles, and the anians, under pretence of protecting old king will lapse into his dotage." the frontier from the incursion of pre

“ You speak in riddles, Glinski; I datory bands ;—that he intended imcomprehend nothing of all this." mediately to place himself at their

" Yet it is clear enough. Thus it head, and march towards Cracow. stands: the Duke of Lithuania loved Now, if at this moment the throne the wife of Sigismund, king of Poland. should suddenly become vacant, what Love!--I call to witness all the saints power on earth could prevent him in heaven !-love alone prompted his from ascending it, and claiming the daring suit. But now that fortune hand of his then veritable queen ? has first favoured and then betrayed And then he expatiated on the happihim, where think you does his safety ness they should enjoy, when they lie?' Where, but in the bold enter- should live in fearless union, prises of ambition ? His only place of refuge is a throne. He who has won

"Like gods together, careless of man

kind." a queen must protect her with a sceptre. You must be mine-my 6. What is this," exclaimed Bona, very queen-you must extend your suddenly starting up_" what is this hand and raise me to the royalty of you would tempt me to? You dare

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